You Are Enough
“You are not enough.”
Would you ever say that to someone you care about? No?
Okay, then answer one more question.
Have you ever acted on any of this?
“Sign up for this trendy diet and you’ll look more attractive to the opposite sex.”
“Wear these overpriced designer jeans; you will appear fashionably rich.”
“Buy this gadget, and you won’t be such a fossil but edgy and in the know.”
At one point or another, and despite a certain level of awareness that I was being steered into something, I have bought into these messages. By doing so, I was essentially telling myself, I wasn’t good enough.
“You are not good enough” is not a statement we would lightly fling at the people we care about but we don’t seem to have any problem telling ourselves this. We beat up on ourselves and advertising has a front seat in our fight club.
According to Jean Kilbourne, an author, speaker and filmmaker best known for her work on advertising and women:
“Advertising is an over $200 billion a year industry. We are exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.”
Let’s be clear; this is not a rant on advertising nor do I believe advertising is the sole cause of our society’s ills. Some advertising does educate and inform. Furthermore, at some point, as adults, we have to take accountability for our own actions.
My primary aim here is to raise the level of awareness on how pervasive advertising is and how deeply they invaded our psyche and influenced our behaviors and beliefs. This message may not be new, but I hope it helps you become a more critical and discerning purveyor of advertising messages.
Secondly, as Kilbourne pointed out, since “they sell concepts of success and worth,” often perfectionistic standards - we will never be satisfied with good enough.
There is nothing wrong with self-improvement. Humans are not meant for stagnation. We are meant to evolve.
But there is a difference between self-improvement and perfectionism. One’s attainable and internally driven (You are doing it for you); the other is driven by a desire to please others.
The very definition of a human being is that we are mortal, vulnerable and flawed. Perfection doesn’t exist yet we illogically strive for it.
However, if you believe that you are enough, you will not be looking to make you into a totally different person. You do it because you care about yourself. Not because you think you are unacceptable and worthless.
In other words, you are somewhat inoculated because you have a healthy measure of self-worth.
Before we get too far ahead, let’s define self-worth. Another term for this is self-esteem.
To esteem something is to value it and to view it as having worth. So then self-esteem is valuing yourself and seeing yourself as a person of worth.
In our modern Western culture, being “good enough” isn’t enough because it implies being average. We like superlatives. We want to stand out.
But I’m making a case for good enough.
When you see yourself as being good enough, there is complete acceptance of self. It feels good to rest in the knowledge that where you are now, and who you are now, is enough.
We all know how exhausting it is to keep a game face. To always be “on.” Say hello to burnout!
To arrive at good enough, I realize, is easier if you are surrounded by people who accept you for who you are. If you have this, count yourself blessed.
A lot of us don’t. But there is that simple tool called the mirror. If you can respect the integrity and goodness of the person looking back at you, that’s all the validation you need.
This moment, just as you are, at whatever point you are in life, you are good enough.
Are you struggling with accepting yourself as good enough? And if you aren’t struggling with it, how have you arrive at “good enough?” Let me know by commenting here on my website, Facebook, Twitter or dropping me an email.